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Adventures in Windows Vista (x64) - Part 2

After running Vista x64 on another machine for a few days; installing various pieces of critical software and seeing that everything seemed to be working smoothly... I've made the full leap on my main desktop machine (the one that now has 4GB of memory).

Some interesting "facts":

  • Windows Experience Index reports my processor running at a 5.0 (was 4.9 in 32-bit).
  • Memory running at a 4.8 (was 4.6 in 32-bit).
  • I have 66% of my memory free while running Outlook, Visual Studio 2005, SmartFTP, a few instances of Internet Explorer, several gadgets, Xfire and SQL Server Management.
  • Windows Vista had *ALL* drivers available from Microsoft upon installation completion.  Yes, this includes my scanner, printer and even the nVidia 8800 video card (which wasn't available January 30th for 32-bit, so it looks like it was added).
  • Lord of the Rings Online no longer pegs the memory meter when I have *everything* maxed out for the graphics option... thus no more thrashing the drive while playing and everything is beautiful!

Out Of The Box Experience 

So the out of the box experience for installation has been pretty good thus far.  Just in case, I do have 32-bit still available to me by rebooting, selecting the boot drive in the BIOS.  In order to handle swapping versions, I've got 3 physical drives in the machine... the original drive, a "data" drive and a 10,000rpm drive running the x64 version of Vista.  Windows Vista includes a pretty interesting new feature where you can go into your user folder, right click on a folder in there such as Pictures, click properties.  Once you have the properties dialog visible, select the Location tab.  At this point, you can have the folder located wherever you wish.  What I've done is put various folders (Downloads, Pictures, Music, Videos, etc.) on the "data" drive (D:\).  I've done this for both the 64-bit and 32-bit instances... so when I switch, all my "data" is still available.

Eventually I see me 100% on Vista x64; but just in case something comes up I can switch and still get work done.

Software Compatibility 

Regarding software.  So far so good.  Experience has been that anything that runs on Windows Vista 32-bit seems to work (for the most part) on x64.  I have had a few weird glitches such as:

  • Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach - upon exiting the game, I get a dndclient.exe has stopped working generic error.  Of course, I'm sending the error report, hopefully it will get resolved automagically.
  • Whatever the issue is with DDO, Lord of the Rings Online experiences the same problem... So Turbine (the developers) needs to fix it in two places.
  • Launching Windows Media Player and Windows Movie Maker for the first time gave me some COM registration errors.  However, everything seems to work just fine as all my music, streaming video and local video plays (or edits in the case of video) just fine.

Multiplicity Update 

An update regarding the Multiplicity issue I encountered in the previous post - this was operator error.  It's been so long since I've installed Multiplicity, that I didn't realize that the Copy/Paste feature was optional and turned off by default.  Turning it on, all works as expected.

Software Development "Issues" 

More updates on the developer side of things.  I needed to update my Movie Jukebox software to recompile as a 32-bit application since it appears that Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition doesn't work in 64-bit mode.  Strange.

Summary 

All in all, so far the experience of moving to Windows Vista 64-bit is, thus far, a lot less problematic than moving from Windows 95/98 to Windows NT 4.0.  I'll keep you posted...

Published Thursday, May 24, 2007 3:27 PM by CorySmith

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